South Asia Tsunami Disaster

IFAW worked on location with local communities in Southern Asia to help in the recovery efforts of one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.

The lives of people and animals are intimately connected, a fact that has never been so clear as in the wake of the devastating tsunami disaster that hit Southern Asia on December 26th, 2005.

The death toll from the December 26 earthquake and tsunamis, which shattered tourist resorts and seaside communities from Thailand to East Africa, was more than 280,000 people.

Along with other major international organizations providing humanitarian aid, IFAW also had a vital role to play in the recovery process. Not only did many of the areas impacted by the tsunamis depend on animal-based agriculture for their very survival, but dispensing vaccinations to livestock and pets in order to control the spread of disease was crucial to avoid further tragedy and loss of human life.

We have seen firsthand how much it means to someone who has lost everything to get a small piece of their life back.  It may not seem like much for someone to once again hold their goat or cat after they have lost a home or loved ones, but for those victims with nothing left - it can mean the world. The tears of joy amongst so much suffering is something you never forget.

IFAW Tsunami Relief Efforts By Country

In India, IFAW provided direct financial assistance to two local groups that assisted in the relocation and vaccination of displaced livestock and companion animals.

In addition to providing disease control and disaster relief for those who lost their companion animals and livestock, ‘IFAW in India’, a partnership between IFAW and Wildlife Trust of India, undertook disaster assessments of animals and habitats in coastal wildlife refuges in southern Tamil Nadu and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. You can see the results of that assessment by downloading the report on the right.

In Sri Lanka, IFAW sponsored a stray dog vaccination drive.

In Thailand, IFAW gave a grant to the Wildlife Friends of Thailand for relief efforts to stray dogs, cats and livestock. Wildlife Emergency Relief teams provided feed to over 300 homeless pets and domesticated wild boar in Khao Lak, Koh Phi Phi and Ban Nam Khem.

The IFAW grant also reimbursed the vaccination efforts that occurred from approximately Dec 29 till Jan 14, which vaccinated nearly 80 dogs against rabies and de-wormed over 200 stray dogs. A field veterinary clinic was also set up to help animals in the Phangnga and Krabi provinces.

IFAW also provided a grant to the Thai Animal Guardians Association to provide care for 116 rescued cats from Kho (island) Phi Phi. The rescued cats were spayed and rehomed through adoption programs.  More stray dog vaccination efforts were also funded through the Soi Dog Rescue Foundation in Phuket.

In Indonesia, an IFAW grant supported ProFauna's efforts to rescue and relocate captive wild animals from the Wulandari mini zoo in Banda Aceh. A rescue team from ProFauna headed to Banda Aceh to provide much needed care to the captive wild animals in the zoo. The wild animals rescued from the zoo were relocated to another captive facility and cared for until new arrangements were made. The ProFauna rescue team also provided care to abandoned livestock and stray pets during their field visit to Banda Aceh.